We stayed at the Park Hotel on Vembanad Lake for 7 nights during the last week of March. We have nothing but praise for the hotel and its staff.
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by a member of management and made to feel extremely welcome. Our room (we received a complimentary upgrade) was exceptional - colourful decor, immaculately clean, contemporary furnishings, comfortable bedding, and quality toiletries. The view, which was directly over the lake, was also one to behold, particularly first thing in the morning.
The staff were superb. Always able to give good advice on what to do and where to go, they were very knowledgeable and went to great pains to ensure that all of our needs and requirements were completely accomodated. Transfers to and from the airport were promptly arranged, as were excursions to the beach and the backwaters (both excellent experiences and well worth doing). Mr. Karthik in this respect was particularly helpful.
Our room was cleaned twice a day, which we thought was a nice touch. The gym was small, with a limited amount of new-ish equipment (1 treadmill, 1 cross trainer, dumbell set up to 20kg), and just about met my needs for the week (although a recumbent or upright bike and a multigym would be a personal requirement for a longer stay). The infinity pool was clean and had a jacuzzi, which meant lazing around by the lake's edge was a pleasure.
For me personally, the best part about staying at the hotel was undoubtedly the food which was served to us by the chef in charge, Mr. Sinu. I have no doubt that Mr. Sinu's creations would be worthy of any restaurant in London. My advice would be to dispense with the 'standard' hotel menu and leave the choice of dishes (be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner) entirely to Mr. Sinu's discretion. Our requests to eat "whatever chef is cooking today" never failed us, as we were served fresh lake fish, prawns and clams accompanied by a lovely array of vegetarian side dishes and breads. Always a nice touch was Mr. Sinu personally coming out to see us to talk in detail about the dishes he had served. The photos attached give an idea of the variety and quality which was served, but I doubt they will actually do the whole experience of eating what Mr. Sinu was able to cook for us any justice. Truly outstanding.
The hotel itself is unusual in that it doesn't actually feel like a 'resort'. In reality, we felt as if we were living amongst the villagers themselves. If you looked out of our window to the rear, you would see the locals going about their daily business in their own homes - cooking, cleaning, working, relaxing - and so the experience felt slightly more 'authentic' than staying in a 'resort'. Some might find this too much of a dose of reality, but for us it was exactly what we were looking for. We also enjoyed walking around the village and taking in 'normal' life going on around us.
All in all, a wonderful 7 days in a beautifully lush and green part of the world. I can see now why the Keralans refer to their state as "God's Own Country". We will be back, and would be glad to stay again at the Park Hotel, given the tremendous care and consideration it obviously affords its guests.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Park on Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom West, Kerala Backwaters is the sophisticated docking station for the Apsara. With a total of ten luxury rooms and a deluxe room lake view room, the resort exudes elegance and style.The Resort offer very private stay offer complete serenity.In food we offer traditional Kerala cuisine along with complete range of Indian and International gourmet to choose from.Aura Spa keeps one relaxed and helps in rejuvenation.The M.V.Apsara Built on two levels, the Apsara consists of eight rooms, a crew cabin, a galley, saloon and dining area, a sundeck and a picturesque forward seating area. The interiors of this luxury cruiser have been designed keeping in mind the luxury and comfort that the well-heeled tourists and leisure travelers require.Apsara Backwaters Cruiser offers contemporary and modern amenities offering inspiring design, innovative dining, sensuous entertainment, instant connectivity and edgy art. The onshore gym and the tented spa offer Ayurvedic and international treatments.The dining area and salon, situated on level 1, with their grand décor create an ambience of luxury. The corner sofas with cushions and tables on level 2 provide ample space for guests to sit back and enjoy the panoramic view of the backwaters. The impeccable services extended to the guests combined with the enhanced display of sophistication makes the voyage memorable.Enjoy this unmatched abode in a perfect eco-setting - a pleasant escape to the lap of nature. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Park On Vembanad Lake Hotel Alappuzha
- The Park On Vembanad Lake Kerala, India